Continuing our story from “The Prisoner of Three Armies Part 3“
“Of all the places I knew I would cross paths with you again, Vinessa, this was not where I expected,” Kurowo said with a wry smile at his bound friend. “Although I should know better than to try predicting you of all people. The only predictable thing about you is that you’re probably on a revenge quest.”
“Better not try to talk me out of it again,” the young woman warned in his Myre tongue as they marched through the snow. “Just leave me to my business and I’ll leave you to yours.”
“Oh, I’m not going to talk you out of anything, Vinessa,” Kurowo assured her with a glance over his shoulder. The two soldiers beside her looked straight ahead, paying expected courtesy to pretend they were hearing nothing but the wind and falling snow in the forest around them.
“Oh really?” she asked. “Why’s that?”
“Because revenge is as much a part of how this world of Heathmoore works as lying and manipulation. Without it, our nations fall apart. I didn’t know that before; I know it now.”
“What happened to you? Did someone piss you off?”
“They… taught me that revenge isn’t so bad after all. In fact, they, along with you, have taught me that it’s actually one of the most productive things a warrior can do in this world.”
“Secretive, I see.”
“Do not confuse privacy with secrecy,” Kurowo said.
They walked on in silence towards the very port Vinessa had escaped from. The soldiers around her all wore standard Myre armor, while she was now dressed as an Ashfeld peasant. Where they had acquired the clothing, Vinessa didn’t know or care. She was just grateful that Kurowo was using his trust with this local settlement to smuggle her out of the country as a captured runaway slave whose owner was now dead. Nobody wanted a slave like that; they were all confident the Vikings would let the party of Samurai and their ‘captive’ leave peacefully.
“You know what I’ve always found funny,” Kurowo said at one point as the incline started to lessen, and the trees began to thin, “is that you Knights tend to give yourselves such unfitting names. The Wardens never sink to guarding prisons, and I’ve never seen Centurions number or even lead a hundred. But the most ironic name has got to belong to your kind, Vinessa. I’ve never once known a Peacekeeper whose job wasn’t to sow chaos behind enemy lines or even in their own ranks. You’re even more likely to go rogue than the Conquerors, and they’re forced conscripts with balls and chains. Why do you think that is, Vinessa?”
Vinessa shrugged. “We have the most peaceful job, I suppose. No battle lines for us.”
“Is that why you have so few injuries that you remember that little bruise on your right arm?”
“Oh, even if I had acquired the bruise in the heat of battle, I’d remember that woman easily.” Vinessa assured him, with a toothy smile. “When we get back to Ashfeld, would you mind helping me clean her up? I almost stopped her from perpetrating the first stage in a series of plans that will-”
“I know who you’re talking about. She’s not as good as you at this job; I know what she’s planning, and I want your help.”
Vinessa smiled again. “Wonderful.”